Audiobooks: Gateway, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon and Heechee Rendezvous
By Frederik Pohl
Gateway refers to a hollowed out asteroid that orbits Sol at a distance comparable to Venus but in an orbit that is orthogonal to the plane of the ecliptic. Humans find it left for them bristling with ships that can travel faster than light yet they have no way of knowing where they will go unless someone volunteers to go. It is a game of chance that people are selling off organs for the opportunity to play.
Robinette Broadhead is the, well not a very likeable one but, protagonist and the story of the first three books in this series is told through his eyes. He bounces a lot of his story off of his machine psychoanalyst, Ziegfried von Shrink, which is treating him for his sometimes overwhelm feelings of guilt. The cause of that guilt you will have to read to find out.
The second book centers on the discovery of a half million year old food factory chewing up comets in the Kuiper Belt. The orphaned son of an unfortunate prospector is raised there by intelligences that have been absorbed by a Heechee computer. He is crossing into adolescence with no guidance and ignorantly causing madness to break out on Earth every one hundred and thirty days.
The third book takes us to Peggy’s Planet, discovered near the end of the book Gateway. It gives us a view into the trials and lives of frontier settlers in a human Interstellar Age before it returns fully to the story as told by Robinette Broadhead.
I loved these stories when I read them in High School and hearing them brought to life in audio has been a pleasure. All deference to Frederik Pohl his science in these has still held up in vision other than his choice of materials for the Loftstrum Loop, a construct depicted to be a launch ramp leading to a tether to move shuttles into low Earth Orbit with efficiency and lower stress. Iron will never be the material used but the dream is still valid. Thank you. I give this presentation of these works a five out of five, enthusiastically.